4 reasons to eat oatmeal Every Day
So, what can all of those vitamins and nutrients do for you? Let’s break it down.
1. Lower your cholesterol – Want to keep your heart healthy? Eat oatmeal. Research shows that a daily bowl of oatmeal can lower your levels of total cholesterol and artery-clogging bad cholesterol. (High cholesterol levels can be a contributing factor to heart disease.) Those oats can work pretty quickly, too, notes Czerwony. One study found that people saw significant changes in cholesterol levels after just six weeks of working oat flakes into their daily diet.
2. Improve blood sugar control – Many of the good deeds linked to oatmeal involve a type of soluble fiber known as beta-glucan. Aside from its work on cholesterol, beta-glucan also can slow the absorption of glucose (or sugars) into your blood. The reason? After you eat oatmeal, that beta-glucan breaks down into a gel-like solution that coats your gut. That thick layer of goo naturally slows down how fast sugars enter your bloodstream. Given that, some studies show that oatmeal is an ideal food for someone with Type 2 diabetes. (Other research, however, has been more subdued about the effects of oatmeal on glycemic control.)
3. Promote weight loss – After a meal, oatmeal tends to sit heavy in your belly — and that can help you get lighter. “If you feel full for longer after eating, it’s easier to go from meal to meal without grazing on unhealthy snacks,” says Czerwony. “In the end, that cuts down on extra calories you might consume.” Researchers found that eating oats can reduce:
4. Keep bowel movements regular – Thanks to its fiber-rich makeup, oatmeal can have a definite regulatory effect on your pooping pattern. It packs a double punch, too, with both insoluble and soluble fiber to help move things along. Studies focused on older adults even show that eating oat bran can eliminate the need to take laxatives to relieve constipation, which often becomes more of an issue with age. “Oatmeal can really help with digestion and your gastrointestinal health,” notes Czerwony. A half-cup of oats contains about 4 grams of dietary fiber. To put that number in perspective, your daily fiber target for good gastrointestinal health should be between 25 grams and 35 grams.
Boost Your Heart Health with These 5 Strategies
Count on these five white knights to protect your heart, your arteries, and the rest of you. They will make you look better and feel better. And it’s never too late to start.
- Avoid tobacco. Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is as bad for the heart and arteries as it is for the lungs. If you smoke, quitting is the biggest gift of health you can give yourself. Secondhand smoke is also toxic, so avoid it whenever possible.
- Be active. Exercise and physical activity are about the closest things you have to magic bullets against heart disease and other chronic conditions. Any amount of activity is better than none; at least 30 minutes a day is best.
- Aim for a healthy weight. Carrying extra pounds, especially around the belly, strains the heart and tips you toward diabetes. If you are overweight, losing just 5% to 10% of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Enliven your diet. Add fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fat, good protein (from beans, nuts, fish, and poultry), and herbs and spices. Subtract processed foods, salt, rapidly digested carbohydrates (from white bread, white rice, potatoes, and the like), red meat, and soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all). If you drink alcohol, limit your intake — one to two drinks a day for men, no more than one a day for women.
Oatmeal is a Healthy Way to Start the Day
I make overnight oatmeal. I take a half cup of a high protein oatmeal (10 grams of protein) and add a third cup of ground flax seed flour. I add some goji berries aad raisons, stir in sufficient water, stick it in the fridge, and, boom, when morning arrives, my oatmeal is ready to go.
Here’s some info from Healthline regarding the benefits of oatmeal:
Oatmeal is made from rolled or steel-cut oats. It contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which can help lowercholesterol and glucose levels, and also has antioxidant and probiotic properties. Because of the way the body processes oats, they will also leave you feeling full for longer, reducing the temptation to snack mid-morning.
Oats also provide:
- B vitamins
In addition, they contain around 10 grams (g) of protein per cup (81 g) of dry oats. To boost the protein content, make oatmeal with milk instead of water, mix in some protein powder, or serve it with a side of eggs. Alternatively, mix raw oats with dried fruit nuts, seeds, coconut, and other ingredients for a homemade muesli. Oats are suitable for people with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, but you should choose oats that have been certified gluten-free due to a risk of cross-contamination.
Lace Up Your Walking Shoes – Walking is a Great Exercise
Walking is simple, yet powerful. It can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example). A number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and resist age-related memory loss. All you need is a well-fitting and supportive pair of shoes. Start with walking for about 10 to15 minutes at a time. Over time, you can start to walk farther and faster, until you’re walking for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week.
Dairy-based Yogurt is Rich in Protein and Calcium
Yogurt is a good source of potassium, which has been shown to help ease tension inside blood vessels, according to the American Heart Association, which can help lower blood pressure, . . . Because it is made using fermentation, all yogurt, dairy and nondairy, contains probiotics. These beneficial bacteria may help maintain or restore the healthy microorganisms in your digestive tract, and play a key role in your body’s immune response, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Making yogurt a regular part of your diet may also help with maintaining a healthy weight. A systematic review of 22 studies published in May 2016 in the International Journal of Obesity found that eating yogurt was associated with a lower body weight, less weight gain over time, and a smaller waist circumference compared with non–yogurt eaters. A study published in October 2017 in PLoS One even found that people who eat yogurt at least once a week were 18 percent less likely to develop gum disease.
With all these benefits, it’s little wonder that research has found that eating yogurt regularly is associated with better diet quality in general.
There is considerable evidence that cocoa can provide powerful health benefits, being especially protective against heart disease.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It’s still loaded with calories and easy to overeat. Maybe have a square or two after dinner and try to savor them. If you want the benefits of cocoa without the calories in chocolate, consider making a hot cocoa without any cream or sugar.
Also, note that a lot of the chocolate on the market is not nutritious. Choose quality stuff: dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. You might want to check out this guide on how to find the best dark chocolate. Dark chocolates typically contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain. Chocolate is a remarkable food that tastes awesome while providing significant health benefits.
Note: I have a piece of 100% cocoa (Ghiradelli chocolate). It tastes great with my dish of blueberries. It’s not sweet (sorry) but it packs a healthy punch).
Foods Naturally High in Magnesium
Why you want to eat foods naturally high in magnesium: Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, bone health, and heart health.
- Leafy greens: Dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium. One cup of cooked spinach, for example, contains around 157mg of magnesium.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all good sources of magnesium. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds, for example, contains around 191mg of magnesium.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all high in magnesium. One cup of cooked black beans, for example, contains around 120mg of magnesium.
- Whole grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread are good sources of magnesium. One cup of cooked quinoa, for example, contains around 118mg of magnesium.
- Fish: Some types of fish, such as mackerel and salmon, are good sources of magnesium. A 3-ounce serving of cooked salmon, for example, contains around 26mg of magnesium.
- Dairy products: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of magnesium. One cup of plain yogurt, for example, contains around 47mg of magnesium.